Abstract Most models of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) assume that the Earth is laterally homogeneous. However, seismic and geological observations clearly show that the Earth’s mantle is laterally heterogeneous. Previous studies of GIA with lateral heterogeneity mostly focused on its effect or sensitivity on GIA predictions, and it is not clear to what extent can lateral heterogeneity solve the misfits between GIA predictions and observations. Our aim is to search for the best 3D viscosity models that can simultaneously fit the global relative sea-level (RSL) data, the peak uplift rates (u-dot from GNSS) and peak gravity-rate-of-change (g-dot from the GRACE satellite mission) in Laurentia and Fennoscandia. However, the search is dependent on the ice and viscosity model inputs - the latter depends on the background viscosity and the seismic tomography models used. In this paper, the ICE-6G_C ice model, with Bunge & Grand’s seismic tomography model and background viscosity models close to VM5 will be assumed. A Coupled Laplace-Finite Element Method is used to compute gravitationally self-consistent sea level change with time dependent coastlines and rotational feedback in addition to changes in deformation, gravity and the state of stress. Several laterally heterogeneous models are found to fit the global sea level data better than laterally homogeneous models. Two of these laterally heterogeneous models also fit the ICE-6G_C peak g-dot and u-dot rates observed in Laurentia simultaneously. However, even with the introduction of lateral heterogeneity, no model that is able to fit the present-day g-dot and uplift rate data in Fennoscandia has been found. Therefore, either the ice history of ICE-6G_C in Fennoscandia and Barent Sea needs some modifications, or the sub-lithospheric property/non-thermal effect underneath northern Europe must be different from that underneath Laurentia. Glacial Isostatic Adjustment, Lateral heterogeneity, Mantle dynamics, Seismic tomography, Laurentia, Fennoscandia © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)
Geophysical Journal International – Oxford University Press
Published: May 10, 2018
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